I also see the retiree buzz job, the the man's-cut-on-a-woman helmet. I'm more leery of this one; only the rare grown woman doesn't look like she's out on a day pass, but stylists dole it out anyway.
Some of the current looks seem off limits to clients who need bifocals to read the bill. I'd like to see them at least offered, even if we decide against them.
It's not always the stylist's fault; my friend Alice looked at her 8th grade graduation photo one day and realized that she had not changed her cut for 45 years. (She found a new salon and got a fab makeover.)
The styles below are all riffs on classics; it's the little detail that updates the 'do. None may be for you, but just like window shopping, it's useful to see what's current.
1. Undone braids and twists
We were the genration to own the ponytail, and it still lends a crisp, classic vibe to long hair, which more of us are keeping. But there are some updated long styles that would look stunning with grey hair.
I love the insouciance, the wink of the fan of ends, and the fact that you can garden in this style and not have to keep pushing it back. Yes, you do need to essay a side French braid, but that's a fun life skill to acquire.
Girl, if I never see a lank ponytail trussed with a banana clip again, it's too soon. The young'uns deconstruct the updo with twisted sections. Works well on medium to long hair, just taking sections and playing.
Here's a curly version with the twists moved to the nape:
Directions and ideas are here; and take a look at another romantic braid, the fishtail. If you are worried about the pins showing, get some good-looking "tortoise" ones and they'll seem deliberate.
2. Po-mo pixies
A pixie shows off our eyes, and we love the carefree charm, but too many hairdressers see you're past fifty and the next thing you know, every bit of softness can get sheared off.
The "relaxed pixie" with its longer top and nape updates this super-short cut. A good stylist can create your own variation.
Note too that the sweeping bangs start a little further back on the crown, a good trick for thinner hair.
Its downtown cousin, the undercut pixie, with a versatile long top layer, can be worn with that top tossed back or to to the side, as Garance Doré shows in a cheeky 30-second video of herself playing with her new cut:
3. New bits for a bob
The classic side-swept bang, ubiquitous and practical, does avert the need for a precise trim every few weeks. But the asymmetrical bang, which works with any length of bob, is edgier. Why don't we get us some edge?
We own classic bobs, but how often does a hairdresser suggest we try a half-up knot as a looser, lighter effect?
It comes down to a hairdresser's sensibility, which may not coincide with his or her technical skill.
As wardrobe stylist and author Sherri Mathieson observed on her blog:
"I've met people over 80 that have more sense of real style than 20 year olds. So it has less to do with age than the more important—exposure (geography, family, friends, job), curiosity and interest.
And then your true ace is—(drumroll please!)—how you absorb the information of what you see."
Some stylists are not absorbing the information; they're wearing Gran Goggles when a client over 50 gets in the chair.
And when they do, what an improvement! Here's an example, retrieved from Good Housekeeping's site. Maryellen is 60. Here's the "before" bob. As she herself said, "I look like a mushroom."
A new cut and colour (and more current clothes) take Maryellen from the '90s to now:
(I'll bet some of you are hankering to offer suggestions for the glasses, too.)
Too often they let us drift along, asking "Same as usual, right?" If you've found the stylist who has both eyes that see and hands that create, you're a lucky woman!